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Saturday, March 24 Sports

Boys hockey wins third in three days, tops Chesire 6-3

DARIEN -- There may be no way to verify it, but Jack O'Rourke scored possibly the fastest goal in the history of the New Canaan boys hockey program on Monday night.

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O'Rourke found the back of the net just three seconds into his regular season finale and sparked the Rams to a 6-3 victory over Cheshire (9-9-1) at the Darien Ice Rink.

"I won the faceoff forward to winger Patrick Hompe," O'Rourke said. "He forechecked really hard, passed it over to Harry (Stanton). Harry passed it in front and I banged it home. It only took a couple seconds."

The opening three seconds proved to be the only shift of the night for O'Rourke, who has been nursing a sore leg.

"I've seen a lot of hockey games in my life," said New Canaan coach Bo Hickey. "I've never seen one that quick."

O'Rourke's goal was part of an early Ram blitz, as Davis Bruch and Peter Reinhardt also scored in the first 72 seconds to give New Canaan a 3-0 lead.

"This is exactly what we want to do every single game," Reinhardt said. "It's a great way to go into the playoffs."

He finished with two goals and an assist.

The Rams (15-4-1) out-shot Chesire 38-12 by night's end, as they turned in another winning effort before heading into the FCIAC tournament on Friday. Due to earlier postponements, New Canaan defeated Norwalk-McMahon 7-1 on Saturday and Fairfield 7-2 the day before.

The victory over the visiting Rams also secured a home game in the first round of the state tournament.

"We played a lot of people, everybody got a lot of ice time," Hickey said. "The kids have sold themselves out. They've been hustling real well the last few games. Obviously, it's paying off. We're scoring more than the other team."

"We're definitely a resilient group," said Stanton, who chipped in with a goal and an assist. "We all put in the hard work in the preseason, so we prepared ourselves for stuff like this. Snowstorms happen, but then we come out and do what we have to do."

Ryan Hart added to the scoring at 4:29 in the first period to extend the New Canaan to four.

After the goal, Cheshire coach Karl Sumquist called a timeout and settled down his team down. The visiting Rams got on the board via Luke Vendetto's goal at the 9:50 mark and had a chance to cut the lead in half with a four-minute power play to start the second period.

But Cheshire was thwarted by New Canaan's aggressive penalty killing, and Reinhardt cashed in a shorthanded goal at 3:49. Stanton's power play score made it 6-1 at just over minute minutes left in the middle frame.

"Recently, we've had trouble starting games with slow starts in the first period of the last couple games," O'Rourke said. "But today we said in the locker room let's jump on them early and never look back. That's what we did."

Parker Lewis (three assists) and James Franzis (two assists) also had multiple-point games for the Rams. New Canaan goaltender Mac Wright finished with nine saves, allowing third-period goals to Cody Borowski and Vendetto.

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New Canaan's eight seniors -- Reinhardt, O'Rourke, Stanton, Stephen Mettler, Ryan McMahon, Eugene Constandaki, Zeph West and Wright -- were honored before Monday's game.

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